Python: Login to Website – Selenium

Selenium is an open source tool that automates web browsers and is widely used for automated testing of web applications.

With Python and Selenium you can easily create a script that automates login to a website, that is very useful, for example, for web scraping.

This note shows how to create a Python script to login to a website automatically using Selenium on the example of Instagram.

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Login to a Website using Selenium in Python

Create a project’s working directory:

$ mkdir -p ~/projects/login2website

Inside the project’s working directory create and activate a virtual environment:

$ cd ~/projects/login2website
$ python3 -m venv venv
$ . venv/bin/activate

Install Selenium:

$ pip install selenium
$ pip show selenium | grep -i version
Version: 4.3.0

Download and unzip the latest stable version of a ChromeDriver (the executable that Selenium uses to interact with Chrome):

$ sudo unzip ~/Downloads/chromedriver_linux64.zip -d /usr/local/bin
$ chromedriver --version
ChromeDriver 103.0.5060.53

Create a login.py file with the contents as follows:

# login.py
# by www.ShellHacks.com

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.by import By
from random import randint
from time import sleep

driver = webdriver.Chrome("/usr/local/bin/chromedriver")
# Time to wait for element's presence
driver.implicitly_wait(10)
driver.get('https://www.instagram.com/')

# Sleep a random number of seconds (between 5 and 10)
sleep(randint(5,10))

# Click 'Accept cookies' button on www.instagram.com
accept_cookis_button = driver.find_element(By.XPATH, '//button[text()="Only allow essential cookies"]')
accept_cookis_button.click()

sleep(randint(5,10))

username_input = driver.find_element(By.CSS_SELECTOR, 'input[name="username"]')
password_input = driver.find_element(By.CSS_SELECTOR, 'input[name="password"]')
username_input.send_keys("yourUsername")
password_input.send_keys("yourP@ssw0rd")

sleep(randint(5,10))

login_button = driver.find_element(By.XPATH, '//button[@type="submit"]')
login_button.click()

# Close the browser after 100 seconds
sleep(100)
driver.close()

Execute the login.py to login to Instagram:

$ python login.py

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Finding an XPath and CSS Selector

In the example above i use the XPath (XML path) and CSS Selectors to identify the web elements that are required to automate the login process.

To get an XPath string or a CSS Selector string of an element, right-click on it in your web browser, select “Inspect”, right-click on the highlighted area and go to “Copy” → “Copy XPath” or “Copy selector”:

This will copy the XPath or the CSS Selector of the highlighted item to your clipboard.

Alternatively you can use a SelectorsHub plugin:

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